If you are looking for a premium SUV at an affordable price, it might be time to consider a used Buick. America’s oldest and at one point top-selling automaker had developed something of a reputation as an “old person’s car” in recent times. However, a bold global market shift and a cut-the-fat departure from older models were set in motion in an effort to restructure the Buick brand and embrace current trends. General Motors aimed to trim costs, clearing the way for investment in a modern lineup and future technologies.
The focus is now on high-value premium SUVs, as the market is waving goodbye to the old large, boxy-looking types. The shift brought us a whole new generation of Buick vehicles while shelving increasingly unpopular models such as the LaCrosse and Verano. Among the newcomers to the lineup is the Envision – Buick’s entry into the extremely competitive compact crossover segment. Offering a more premium experience than mass-market competitors from Chevy or Ford while still being more affordable than a Cadillac or Lincoln, a used Buick Envision is a great way to enjoy a premium ride on a budget.
GM Envisioned It
Somewhere in between a compact crossover and a 7-passenger SUV is the “tweener.” In the Buick lineup, the Envision bridges the gap between the subcompact Encore and the larger Enclave. Debuting in 2016, the niche-filling Envision crossover was a nice fit in Buick’s line of Sport Utility Vehicles. With full-size sedan sales tanking across the industry, the proverbial writing was on the wall for former celebrated Buick models such as the Regal. Behind the scenes, a Buick all-SUV market in the U.S. was starting to take shape in GM boardrooms.
By 2018, smaller models such as the Encore and Envision were taking hold as the ever-popular crossover segment flexed its collective muscle. When you think of Buick, words such as tasteful, safe, and luxurious have always been associated with the iconic GM brand. Those connotations can be readily found in descriptions and reviews of the Buick Envision.
If you’re in the market for a used premium crossover, you’ve probably narrowed your options down to 3-4 possibilities (or fewer). To help you in making that final decision and possibly taking advantage of a quality, pre-owned crossover at significant savings, let’s highlight the two popular Buick Envision model years.
The 2018 Buick Envision
The lineup of competitors the Buick Envision is going toe-to-toe with is quite impressive. Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, and Acura are all segment leaders in various categories. The Buick holds its own in those categories, offering a premium experience at a more affordable price – especially when buying used. Build-quality, safety ratings, and a wealth of available options remain true to Buick’s legacy with the Envision.
No matter which trim of the 2018 Envision you choose, you will be greeted by a roomy cabin that comfortably seats five and includes industry-leading Quiet Tuning technology for a relaxing and comfortable ride. Other luxury features offered in this premium SUV include heated front seats, dual-zone auto climate control, and a powered liftgate. The modern infotainment system is built around an 8-inch touch screen, with smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Individual trim level highlights include:
- Preferred – Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive available, both with a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine providing 197 hp and 192 lb-ft torque. This trim offers plenty of standard features but is missing some of the more luxurious options.
- Essence – Same basic powertrain as the Preferred, but adds additional premium features. This includes leather-appointed seating with heated rear seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a heated steering wheel, as well as rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring for added safety.
- Premium – All-wheel drive only with a more capable 2.0L turbocharged engine delivering 252 hp and 260 lb-ft torque. Technology upgrades include an 8-inch Driver Information Center to match the central touchscreen, a Bose sound system, and more advanced driver-assist safety features.
The 2019 Buick Envision
For 2019, there weren’t any earth-shaking developments, but there are some improvements worth mentioning. Answering critics who found both Envision powertrains a little on the soft side, the 2019 version jacked up the torque by a decent 35 lb-ft in the optional turbocharged engine, bringing the grand total to a more robust 295 lb-ft. GM also implemented a 9-speed automatic transmission – replacing the old 6-speed gearbox – adding to what was already a smooth ride.
With the Buick line of SUV’s a bit on the conservative side when it comes to exterior looks, even the subtle aesthetic changes to the 2019 model add a morsel of modern sportiness. High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps are now standard on the base trims, and even brighter LED lights adorn the higher trims. Streamlined taillights were also on the update list. Collectively, while likely not a game-changer for the pre-owned SUV buyer, these updates are still worth noting.
What About the Savings?
OK, it’s always fun to drive away in a brand-spankin’ new vehicle after a tough round of negotiating, but there are times when buying a used model – preferably one with a factory warranty remaining – just makes more sense. In fact, it’s a way of life for some buyers. If you are shopping for a used premium SUV, Buick is a particularly good choice as it has a much better reputation for reliability than many other luxury brands.
Both 2018 and 2019 Envision models offer good value and fairly significant savings as well. You can easily find Preferred and Essence models, many well-within the factory warranty period, starting around $20,000. The top-shelf Premium models will run closer to $30,000. Prices will obviously vary with options, mileage, and history, but it’s entirely possible to land a loaded Envision while saving thousands of dollars in the process. Driving away with piece-of-mind in a fully-covered, used Buick crossover may be easier than you think.
The original GM warranty looks like this:
- Standard bumper-to-bumper warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles
- Standard powertrain warranty: 6 years/70,000 miles
Now, many used models will still have a bit of this warranty remaining, but if you want even more peace of mind, there is some good news. The GM Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) coverage is comprehensive and among the best in the industry. Should you purchase a CPO model, you can count on these GM benefits:
- 12 month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
- 6 year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
- 2 year Scheduled Maintenance Program
With a CPO Envision, you will be guaranteed an extremely reliable used SUV that is backed by Buick itself.
A Premium Ride at an Affordable Price
The Buick Envision was a top seller during the 2018 and 2019 calendar years, so there are plenty of deals to be had on used models from those years. The Envision is a nice all-around choice for the discerning consumer, bringing traditional and practical Buick luxury. It doesn’t accelerate or handle quite as proficiently as category leaders from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, or BMW – however, it doesn’t cost as much either! For all it offers, there are many reasons to consider purchasing this crossover. Do yourself a favor and check out a safe and reliable used Buick Envision near you before making that final choice!